By Kriston Capps
My first pie! This chocolate pear chocolate tart I made using a recipe I poached from the lovely Clotilde Dusoulier, of Chocolate and Zucchini fame. (Welcome to the IFA honor roll, C&Z.) I made the pie for Thanksgiving and hoped to impress the host, the mother of a good friend who has basically adopted me (I’m her favorite second son). Chocolate isn’t part of my Thanksgiving tradition and, truth be told, I don’t have much of a sweet tooth. But I really like melting chocolate, and seeing as how I’d set myself the task of baking a pie for Thanksgiving, I figured to try something that wouldn’t be judged against tradition. After all, if it were no good, everyone would simply eat all the pumpkin pies and cobblers that other guests brought, right?
Quite clearly my crust crumbles in comparison to Dusoulier’s perfect perimeter. Fugly as it was, the crust had the right thickness and crunchiness and the chocolate taste was detectable but not overwhelming. It turned out decent given that I started the crust at 220°F (Dusoulier’s instructions said 220°C).
Despite the humbling metric/standard conversions, the recipe was a cinch. But a note on the chocolate, or more specifically, the cocoa, used for the ganache. Dusoulier didn’t give any guidance other than to buy dark chocolate and I didn’t realize that I need any more guidance than that until I got to the market. There are many, many grades of cocoa, depending on the percentage of solid cocoa that goes into the chocolate. I chose a modal hue that I thought was reasonably dark: 70% cocoa. It was almost too strong, at least to my taste. So I recommend going that far but no further.
[Tarte Chocolat Poire Chocolat: Chocolate and Zucchini]